White Paper must be the gateway to improved care

The NHS should not tolerate poor quality care and GPs must use the White Paper as an opportunity to drive up standards in the profession, according to the RCGP chairman.

Speaking at the RCGP annual conference in Harrogate last week, Professor Steve Field acknowledged GPs' doubts. There were concerns, he said, that it could be the 'worst thing to happen to the NHS ever' because of fears it could increase the role of the private sector.

'These reforms are probably the biggest since the NHS began,' he said. 'They are not without risks, but there is the opportunity for GPs to design better care for our patients.'

The RCGP backed the direction of travel, he said, because the White Paper 'proposes what we have been calling for for years - greater involvement and leadership from GPs'.

Former health minister Lord Darzi had done 'a great job of putting quality at the heart of the NHS', Professor Field argued. But PCTs and SHAs had failed to deliver on promises to hand clinicians key roles. It was no surprise the Labour government's World Class Commissioning scheme failed as a result, he said.

Professor Field listed a host of problems with GP training and patient services that commissioners would need to address.

PCTs had failed to tackle poor performance, he said. Revalidation would not have been necessary if PCTs had 'got their act together' and properly implemented appraisal, but the RCGP had been forced to 'react where the service had failed'.

Only a small percentage of GPs were underperforming, but this still meant many people were not receiving high quality care, Professor Field warned.

Large numbers of patients, including travellers, sex workers, the homeless and asylum seekers 'do not get access even to poor care', he added.

Professor Field warned that young GPs were not gaining the experience that previous generations enjoyed, and standards of care may suffer and referrals rise as a result.

He said warnings that Darzi centres and PFI hospital deals were expensive and unnecessary in many areas had been proven correct. He also urged GPs to 'grow up and share information' to improve services, and to build links with charities and local authorities.

More video highlights

Summary care record to be radically cut back, says health secretary

GPs challenge health secretary on PCT deficits and contracts

Health secretary defends pace of change in White Paper reforms

Health secretary moves to reassure GPs on White Paper fears

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE LATEST FROM THE RCGP CONFERENCE

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Split staff to handle patients with and without COVID-19 symptoms, GPs told

Split staff to handle patients with and without COVID-19 symptoms, GPs told

GPs and practice staff should be allocated to manage either patients with COVID-19...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

BMA emergency lead self-isolating after weeks stuck on cruise ship

BMA emergency lead self-isolating after weeks stuck on cruise ship

The BMA’s emergency preparedness lead worked from the library of a cruise ship for...

How GPs are running 'hot sites' during the COVID-19 outbreak

How GPs are running 'hot sites' during the COVID-19 outbreak

GP-led hot sites - also known as hot hubs - are providing a place to see patients...

NHS England updates guidance for practices on vulnerable patients

NHS England updates guidance for practices on vulnerable patients

NHS England and the CMO have written to GP practices advising them to 'disregard'...

GP workforce hit hard by COVID-19 self-isolation, BMA poll reveals

GP workforce hit hard by COVID-19 self-isolation, BMA poll reveals

More than two in five GPs say their practice workforce has been significantly reduced...